The Last Stop

Way back in the 1980’s, it was popular for members of the conservative movement to claim that the Left had run out of ideas. It was true to the extent that the Left had run out of policy ideas, having used them up in the preceding four decades. Conservatives were brimming with ideas on how to fix those policies. The big talk of rolling them back was really just a politically astute way of making reform look radical. The Right was always about fixing what the Left had broken.

The truth is though, those old progressive ideas from the early part of the century had run their course, but a new set of ideas were percolating in the academy. What we think of today as cultural Marxism and “wokeness” was coming together in the flophouses and brothels of left-wing politics. After the Cold War ended, these ideas started to take over the Left until we reached the present crisis. This crisis, however, seems to be the end of the line for radical thinking.

You see it with the obsession with Trump. Stable minded people with an agenda, even a nutty agenda, would have erased their old foe from the history books after dispatching him in the 2020 election. Instead, they cannot stop thinking about him and the army of imaginary bogeymen they think he leads. The Democrats have now hatched a plot to charge him with sedition so he cannot run for office in 2024. In reality, it is just a way to keep him alive as an adversary.

To normal people, this looks like madness. The truth is, Trump is old news and by the time 2024 rolls around he will probably not be a lock to win the nomination. This Ann Coulter column is a good indication that many of the people who supported Trump in 2016 are ready for someone new. Coulter’s judgement on these things is not always the best, she was a fan of Mitt Romney, but she speaks for Populist Inc. They are ready to move on and the Democrats would be wise to let them.

That said, Trump is a master marketer and he could very well retool his act as a revenge tour in 2024. Given the state of things right now and the chaos that looms on the horizon, the public could be ready to burn it all down. The GOP will surely win both house this fall then set about finking on their voters. The next presidential election could be a battle to win over factions in a purple-faced rage at the politicians. In that environment, Trump could look like the sober choice.

Still, the Left won the revolution and should be busy enjoying the fruits of victory but instead they long to return to the battle. The reason is the ideology that fueled the revolution is turning out to be nothing but clever words with no truth content. There is no end of history, no promised land of equality. Rather than being a strength, diversity has turned out to be a clever marketing scheme by corporate communists who live like white nationalist while lecturing everyone about race.

What the Left has quickly become is a glaring example of negative identity. They are not for anything that exists. Instead, they are a laundry list of things they oppose, with the claim that these things stand in the way of paradise. The fact that many of the things they rage against do not, in fact, exist, makes the agony all the more severe. It turns out that bellowing about white supremacy, something that does not exist, is not as fulfilling as screaming in the face of someone wearing a red hat.

In the movie Conspiracy about the 1942 Wannsee Conference, one of the actors tells another a story about a man who hated his father and loved his mother. When his mother died, he did not weep at her grave. When his father died, he was inconsolable, crying like a baby. The lesson of the story was that the man had defined his life by his hatred of his father. When his father was gone, he lost that which gave meaning and purpose to his life. That was why he was crying.

The American Left and their political party are now that man weeping at the grave of Donald Trump’s presidential career. This is, in part, why they cannot let go of the Covid madness, despite their party’s efforts. The mask is a reminder of better times when they had a reason to get up every morning. It is why their party is putting on the insurrection show for them. It is a bit of nostalgia for better times. It is why they hope to reanimate the Trump movement with an indictment.

That is the trouble with negative identity. A political movement organized around it can only end in sorrow. If it wins, it loses the reason to exist. If it fails, it runs the risk of retribution from the people it assaulted and it runs the risk of internal dissention over not having defeated the enemy. Negative identity becomes a self-made Alamo, a desperate last stand by people afraid of the future. It is why these movements attract so many weirdos and degenerates.

Unlike in the 1980’s, the sputtering of the prevailing radicalism is unlikely to give way to a new radicalism, at least not from the Left. Cultural Marxism was a reaction to the failing of economic Marxism. There is no next step in the underlying theory of history that animated both ideologies. This really is the end of the road for the theoretical framework that gave birth to Utopian radicalism. What comes next will probably be outside the old model of Left and Right.


If you like my work and wish to kick in a few bucks, you can buy me a beer. You can sign up for a SubscribeStar subscription and get some extra content. You can donate via PayPal. My crypto addresses are here for those who prefer that option. You can send gold bars to: Z Media LLC P.O. Box 432 Cockeysville, MD 21030-0432. Thank you for your support!


Promotions: We have a new addition to the list. Havamal Soap Works is the maker of natural, handmade soap and bath products. If you are looking to reduce the volume of man-made chemicals in your life, all-natural personal products are a good start. If you use this link you get 15% off of your purchase.

The good folks at Alaska Chaga are offering a ten percent discount to readers of this site. You just click on the this link and they take care of the rest. About a year ago they sent me some of their stuff. Up until that point, I had never heard of chaga, but I gave a try and it is very good. It is a tea, but it has a mild flavor. It’s autumn here in Lagos, so it is my daily beverage now.

Minter & Richter Designs makes high-quality, hand-made by one guy in Boston, titanium wedding rings for men and women and they are now offering readers a fifteen percent discount on purchases if you use this link. If you are headed to Boston, they are also offering my readers 20% off their 5-star rated Airbnb.  Just email them directly to book at sales@minterandrichterdesigns.com.


The Crisis Of Doubt

A basic requirement of every human society is that it must have a set of rules that define the society and the people in it. It is this shared understanding of what defines the society that keeps the thing together. “Who we are” is defined by “what we do” and it is the commonsense of the people. People living in a monarchy take the king and the nobility for granted. To question the legitimacy of the king is to question the very nature of society and the rules that define it.

In modern America, the experts who run the country have become one of these fixed things that everyone accepts. For example, the head of the Federal Reserve runs the banking system and controls the money supply. Since Alan Greenspan made the job famous, Americans have just accepted that the person in this job is responsible for keeping the economy from danger. He does not set taxes or control spending, but he makes sure the economy avoids catastrophe.

This general assumption is not without merit. It was the Federal Reserve that pulled the country out of stagflation in the 1980’s. They kept the Savings & Loan crisis from creating a bank run. In the 1990’s, they organized the bailout of Long Term Capital Management and then navigated the Dot-Com bust. They came to the rescue of the global economy in the mortgage crisis. So far, they have managed to prevent the Covid panic from cratering the economy.

There is a lot one can quibble with in that list and many will say that those crises were the fault of the bankers, including the Fed. To most people though, the mysterious group of people who run the economy are one thing you can trust. Even though trust in government at all levels has declined sharply over the last few decades, the Federal Reserve remains the most trusted institution. Most years, the Fed chairman has better approval than the president.

In a world where people assume there is an answer to every problem and an expert able to find the answer, there is an assumption that whatever problems crop up, the people in charge will find the solution. This is what makes managerialism both possible and tolerable. If the experts keep getting things wrong, what is the point of having a society run by experts? People put up with the metastasizing set of rules because there is a general trust that there is logic behind them.

This trust in experts is not new. It has been a defining characteristic of American society since at least the 19th century. Taylorism was the attempt to use science to improve management of companies in the 1880’s. That gave birth to the Efficiency Movement, which sought to apply engineering principles to social policy. What we think of as the Left in America grew out of this belief that social reform could be achieved by experts changing the rules of society to achieve the desired outcome.

The fact is the strength of the American system over the last century has been this faith in the experts to find the right answer. When things go wrong, the current experts are fired and new experts are brought in to solve the problem. Elections have been an indirect review of the experts class. If the people are not happy, they vote for the other party who come in with new experts. If things go well, then the party is rewarded with a good election the next time.

That is what makes the current crisis so serious. Most people think the experts badly bungled the Covid problem. The experts said we had two weeks to bend the curve and two years into it the curve is not bent. The vaccine was supposed to be the great triumph of science and technology and it is looking like it is not only not working but possibly a billion dollar boondoggle. The last two years have been a massive blow to the credibility of science in modern America.

Then you have the economic troubles. Most people assumed there would be some trouble from the Covid panic. You cannot close down the economy for months and not have consequences. Unlike those prior economic crises, the Fed is not skillfully navigating this one. Empty shelves and spirally prices are not what people expect from the expert class. Things that could be acquired in days now take months because the supply chain is a chaotic mess.

The deeper problem is the old habit of just voting for the out-party when things are not doing well has not been working either. People voted for Obama to close the books on the history of race. Instead, race relations got sharply worse. Obama was supposed to end the forever wars and he expanded them. Trump was the shot across the bow by the people and the system responded with a four year tantrum. Biden was supposed to be the return to normal and we have chaos instead.

This is why 70% of Americans think the country is in a serious crisis. They are not puzzling it out like this, but they just sense that the system has broken and there is no one around with an understanding of how to fix it. One of the paradoxes of the current age is the people in charge say we are in the middle of a crisis, but then wage jihad against anyone proposing a way out of the crisis. Their solution to “save democracy” is to eliminate any trace of it from society.

The core of the current crisis is that no one can honestly answer the question that is the basis of all human organization, who are we? It is no longer easy to say what it means to be an American. The commonsense that are the rules of society are no longer making sense, which calls into question the basics of society. We used to be a people who assumed the experts would eventually get it right. Now we are a people wondering if there is such a thing as experts at all.


If you like my work and wish to kick in a few bucks, you can buy me a beer. You can sign up for a SubscribeStar subscription and get some extra content. You can donate via PayPal. My crypto addresses are here for those who prefer that option. You can send gold bars to: Z Media LLC P.O. Box 432 Cockeysville, MD 21030-0432. Thank you for your support!


Promotions: We have a new addition to the list. Havamal Soap Works is the maker of natural, handmade soap and bath products. If you are looking to reduce the volume of man-made chemicals in your life, all-natural personal products are a good start. If you use this link you get 15% off of your purchase.

The good folks at Alaska Chaga are offering a ten percent discount to readers of this site. You just click on the this link and they take care of the rest. About a year ago they sent me some of their stuff. Up until that point, I had never heard of chaga, but I gave a try and it is very good. It is a tea, but it has a mild flavor. It’s autumn here in Lagos, so it is my daily beverage now.

Minter & Richter Designs makes high-quality, hand-made by one guy in Boston, titanium wedding rings for men and women and they are now offering readers a fifteen percent discount on purchases if you use this link. If you are headed to Boston, they are also offering my readers 20% off their 5-star rated Airbnb.  Just email them directly to book at sales@minterandrichterdesigns.com.


Little Revolutions

Revolutions come when people suddenly realize that everyone else is privately thinking the same things about the current arrangements. Most people tend to keep their grievances private. Complaining is boring and considered bad form even in the worst of times, so people tend to keep their grievances to themselves. It is when they begin to notice that everyone else has similar complaints that the cascading effect turns complaints into demands and then into rebellion.

It is why the corporate communists who dominate the official social media platforms like Twitter are more deluded than they seem. Their entire public life is nothing but a litany of complaints, shared with other miserable wrecks on-line. They literally know everyone who shares their grievances, as they are all in the same groups. The only awakening that will happen from their endless griping is that the rest of society will realize that these people are nuts and need to be pushed back to the fringe.

A version of that took place a couple of weeks ago when Douglas Murray was assigned the task of purging Pedro Gonzalez. Murray took issue with Gonzalez making sport of various internationalist types on Twitter. Gonzalez was doing the “physiognomy is real” thing where he posted pics of the people he was mocking. Murray responded with, “Mr. Gonzalez spent his holiday weekend bringing what many have worked hard to relegate to the gutter into respectable conservative circles.”

This is an old stand-by for the neocons. Starting in the 1980’s they have slandered anyone who opposed their sociopathic agenda as anti-Semites or racists. The fact that the favorite tool of neoconservatism has always been the favorite tool of the far-left is not an accident. Despite their claims, the neocons were never conservative. Theirs is an ideology of the Left. They imagine a new world order where they sit atop as the moral arbiters, using extreme force to impose their will.

That incident was not all that interesting, but what is interesting is that few people bother to notice and those who did mocked Douglas Murray. His own comment section reads like satire cooked up by the anti-Semites. Many had to be trolls having a laugh at the expense of the geezers. On Twitter, Murray was mocked as a relic from an age in which people were still fooled by neoconservatives. Gonzalez just laughed the whole thing off as the rantings of an old man.

While a tempest in a teapot, there was a time when a bigfoot chattering skull like Murray could have someone thrown into the void this way. Bill Buckley was used this way back in the 1990’s when Bill Kristol forced him to denounce Buchanan. This trick worked thirty years ago but today it gets little more than a shrug. What people did notice is that it did not work. The ad hominem and guilt by association stuff is no longer the super weapon it was thirty years ago. The world has changed.

It is not just that these tactics do not work it is that they increasingly sound like the rantings of old people complaining about the world changing. This column from George Will before Christmas is a good example. His quill pen act was effective into the Bush years, but now it seems anachronistic and a bit ridiculous, like a man wearing a denim jacket with “disco forever” spelled out in rhinestones on the back. It reads like something that should have been written 40 years ago.

The tattered look of these old tactics also reveals the general shabbiness of the arguments behind the name calling. Will’s claims about individualism are pure nonsense and his claim that nationalism is collectivism is ridiculous. How did this man get through high school with such nonsense in his head? In other words, the datedness makes it easier to see that these people were never smart. Neoconservatism, like so-called conservatism, was a tactic, not a set of ideas.

It is not just among the chattering skulls that we are seeing a change. All of sudden, without anyone noticing, Gab is no longer the bogeyman. Hundreds of right-wing pols have joined and legitimate political players like Rasmussen have joined because they see that is where the crowd is going, the crowd they need to survive. People have noticed that the biggest players on the planet tried to destroy Torba and his company, but he simply refused to buckle to them.

Of course, this change in attitudes reflects the growing divide in society. Half of the people who voted for Joe Biden support internment camps for dissidents and house arrest for the non-complaint. Behind every double mask is someone who would volunteer to be a camp guard. One of the causes of revolution is that there is always some portion of society willing to support the regime. Disordered minds seek the order of the bloody fist imposing its will on society.

Those people, the fringe crazies who have been allowed to run free in the public square, are a fixture in human society. A central part of every human society is maintaining the rules that define the society. This means keeping the crazies under control and away from the levers of power. That is, perhaps, what we are beginning to see with these recent events. People are rejecting the moral claims of these people and living their lives in spite of them.

There is a great scene in the movie Braveheart in which the main character captures the leader of the kings guard. He looks down at first, as was required when addressing a superior man, but then he looks up into the man’s eyes as an equal. It is a great scene, because it reflects how control is exercised and broken. It seems that many are now willing to look moral scoundrels like Murray in the eyes and give them the treatment they so richly deserve.


If you like my work and wish to kick in a few bucks, you can buy me a beer. You can sign up for a SubscribeStar subscription and get some extra content. You can donate via PayPal. My crypto addresses are here for those who prefer that option. You can send gold bars to: Z Media LLC P.O. Box 432 Cockeysville, MD 21030-0432. Thank you for your support!


Promotions: We have a new addition to the list. Havamal Soap Works is the maker of natural, handmade soap and bath products. If you are looking to reduce the volume of man-made chemicals in your life, all-natural personal products are a good start. If you use this link you get 15% off of your purchase.

The good folks at Alaska Chaga are offering a ten percent discount to readers of this site. You just click on the this link and they take care of the rest. About a year ago they sent me some of their stuff. Up until that point, I had never heard of chaga, but I gave a try and it is very good. It is a tea, but it has a mild flavor. It’s autumn here in Lagos, so it is my daily beverage now.

Minter & Richter Designs makes high-quality, hand-made by one guy in Boston, titanium wedding rings for men and women and they are now offering readers a fifteen percent discount on purchases if you use this link. If you are headed to Boston, they are also offering my readers 20% off their 5-star rated Airbnb.  Just email them directly to book at sales@minterandrichterdesigns.com.


The Myth Of Meritocracy

Note: The Monday Taki post is up. Not related to the topic of the day, but a topic that is becoming more important every day. The Sunday podcast is up behind the green door and it is mostly about the struggles of Mumbly Joe and his crew.


Marilyn Mosby has been the State’s Attorney for Baltimore since 2015, despite the fact she has been under federal investigation for years. A federal grand jury indicted her last week on two counts of perjury and two counts of making false statements on loan applications for two Florida vacation homes. Mosby applied for loans against her retirement account, exploiting a CARES Act provision for those hurt financially by the Covid-19 panic, despite never having been affected.

These may seem like petty charges, but as is often the case with public corruption investigations, this is the opening gambit in a broader investigation. Mosby’s husband has also been living under a dark cloud for years.  He is the current President of the Baltimore City Council.  The two of them owe the IRS over $45,000 in back taxes, despite making close to half a million a year from the city. Their lifestyle does not comport with what their financials indicate.

For her part, Mosby is promising to fight. She claims the charges are a plot by her political opponents and, of course, the invisible army of white supremacists that secretly control this racist society. The fact that Baltimore is 70% black and the political establishment in the city is 100% black does not matter. Mosby has been doing the rounds, claiming she is innocent and playing the race card. It is the usual theater of the absurd that has come to define city politics.

Public corruption is part of politics and it seems to be much more common in democratic politics. The salary for elected officials is low relative to the people who underwrite their political careers. Unlike all the other entertainment businesses, the stars of politics do not make the majority of the box office. It is the wealthy donors and lobbyists who benefit the most, so there is a natural resentment and a temptation to take a little more than what is allowed.

Compounding this arrangement is the fact that corruption is often permitted, if you are in the right part of the business. The Congressman who represents Mosby in Washington is allowed to trade on insider information, for example. He can take information known only to members of Congress, use it to front run the stock market. From the perspective of local politicians, this must seem terribly unfair, which only adds to the culture of corruption and the temptation to steal.

All that aside, Mosby is a good example of how the concept of a meritocracy does not hold up in a multicultural society. She is not in the job because of her sterling legal career or because she has done important things for the community. She was placed in the job because it looked good for her benefactors. In fact, this is the story of her life from grammar school to now. Mosby has been pushed along by the desire for salivation by members of the managerial elite.

Mosby was born and raised in Boston. Both of her parents were police officers and her grandfather was a policeman. He was one of the first black cops in the city, part of a program to boost the fortunes of black people in the city. She was sent to nice public schools as part of a program to boost the fortunes of black students. The METCO program is designed to get black students into college by placing them in predominantly white high schools outside the city.

Even though Boston has many colleges that love METCO students and New England is full of well-regarded liberal arts colleges, Mosby wound up at Tuskegee, a private historically black college in Alabama. Then by some miracle she wound up at Boston College Law. Despite graduating from one of the better law schools in the country, she could not find a paid position. Then by another miracle, she hooked on as Assistant State’s Attorney for Baltimore, a city with which she has no connections.

Mosby’s tenure as State’s Attorney for Baltimore, a position she has held since 2015, is charitably described as amusingly inept. During the Freddy Gray crisis, she often appeared disoriented at press conferences. She then declared jihad against the police department and over-charged the cops involved. The police department stopped arresting bad guys, crime shot up and the case against the cops collapsed. In time it may be seen as the peak of her political career.

The fact is Mosby should never have been put in this position. She is not qualified for the job and has no connection to the city. She was placed here because her sponsors thought she ticked certain boxes and she did not ask too many questions. Like Mortimer and Randolph from Trading Places, they thought they could make her a national political figure for reasons that had nothing to do with the public good. Merit had nothing to do with her getting placed in this position.

Defenders of this system will say that lots of white males benefit from connections and favors in their career. Private colleges, for example, give special consideration to legacy applicants, which is often affirmative for rich white people. Politics has always been a game of connections. You make the right friends who then help you along the way on the promise you will help them when the time comes. Mosby, some would argue, is just what is to be expected in a diverse democracy.

While true, it is not a defense of meritocracy or even diversity. In fact, it acknowledges that objective merit has no role in a liberal democracy. Instead, it is about the spring of democracy, which is morality. Those who champion the prevailing orthodoxy are rewarded while those who do not are excluded from the halls of power. Mosby was good for the new religion of diversity and inclusion, so she was handed the winning lottery ticket in the game of life.

In fairness, the ruling class of America does concede this. They are always going on about how success is the result of privilege. If you are born with the right characteristics, you get opportunities denied to others. The problem, of course, is this puts the lie to the foundation of managerialism. Rule by expert does not make any sense if the experts are just the product of random chance. If Mosby is the legal expert for the city, then what is the point of having rule by expert?

Mosby is just a minor figure in the provinces, but the entire political structure is built on this feeder system. Managerialism is supposed to select for and promote the very best, but instead it selects and promotes the most fashionable at the moment. Such a system cannot survive contact with reality for very long. When rule by expert becomes rule by bourgeoise social fashion, disaster is waiting to happen. It is why the future of managerialism is a city like Baltimore.


If you like my work and wish to kick in a few bucks, you can buy me a beer. You can sign up for a SubscribeStar subscription and get some extra content. You can donate via PayPal. My crypto addresses are here for those who prefer that option. You can send gold bars to: Z Media LLC P.O. Box 432 Cockeysville, MD 21030-0432. Thank you for your support!


Promotions: We have a new addition to the list. Havamal Soap Works is the maker of natural, handmade soap and bath products. If you are looking to reduce the volume of man-made chemicals in your life, all-natural personal products are a good start. If you use this link you get 15% off of your purchase.

The good folks at Alaska Chaga are offering a ten percent discount to readers of this site. You just click on the this link and they take care of the rest. About a year ago they sent me some of their stuff. Up until that point, I had never heard of chaga, but I gave a try and it is very good. It is a tea, but it has a mild flavor. It’s autumn here in Lagos, so it is my daily beverage now.

Minter & Richter Designs makes high-quality, hand-made by one guy in Boston, titanium wedding rings for men and women and they are now offering readers a fifteen percent discount on purchases if you use this link. If you are headed to Boston, they are also offering my readers 20% off their 5-star rated Airbnb.  Just email them directly to book at sales@minterandrichterdesigns.com.


The Cost Of Custodialism

Note: The weekly Taki post is up. It ties in with the post today about the cost of the custodial state. Behind the green door is the weekly podcast.


In his book, The Collapse of Complex Societies, Joseph Tainter argues that societies collapse when their investment is sustaining their societies reaches the point of diminishing returns. The complex systems they evolved to solve the problems they have faced come with a cost. Complexity itself brings a cost, as maintaining any complex system has special requirements. These costs are not fixed. They increase over time and at some point, they exceed the benefits.

In modern life, this is obvious in software systems. They are initially created to solve a specific set of problems like accounting or tracking parts in a warehouse. Over time they become increasing complicated as they are expanded to solve other problems like tracking costs or forecasting cash flows. They are patched, upgraded and modified continuously until they reach a point where the cost of maintaining them is greater than the cost of replacing them with something new.

This idea of diminishing returns is useful in thinking about how the custodial state is evolving and how it will end. There is a cost to making sure you are not using the wrong pronouns or teaching your kids the wrong values. There is a cost to bullying people into taking certain medicines or avoiding certain foods. Of course, there is a cost to dreaming up these new taboos. The American university system, which is the primary source of production for this stuff, is not cheap.

In prior societies, the care, custody and control of the population was not much of a concern to the ruling class. The duty of the king, for example, was to make sure his lands were safe from threats. Otherwise, his people were on their own as far as raising crops and managing their affairs. They had duties to their lord, but those were in terms of labor and produce. The church made sure everyone followed the cultural rules, but the cost of that was paid for through rents as well.

Even in liberal societies of the 19th and early 20th century, the people in charge did not invest much into making sure people had the right thoughts. Public education was focused on improving the workforce. Public safety was about securing the property and safety of rich people. Public administration was still largely focused on collecting taxes for the state. In 19th century America, social reform was a private affair, financed by the wealthy as a form of public piety.

It is in the 20th century things began to change. Public education became universal in the West and shifted from the basics to moral and social conditioning. When politicians say that parents should have no role in the training of their children, this is not the radical idea that many claim. Inside the ruling class, this is just assumed and has been for a very long time. A century ago, Progressive reformers assumed education was necessary to train people to be good social democrats.

The little light on the dashboard of your car telling you that you are too close to another car and the warnings about drinking the contents of the shampoo bottle are all part of the custodial state and they come with a cost. The federal government spent over six trillion dollars in fiscal year 2021. That is 30% of the GDP. State and local government spent another three trillion. Roughly half of the U.S. GDP is consumed with the cost of governance. This is true throughout the West.

This is not the end of it. Regulatory costs do not show up in the government budget, but they show up in private budgets. When companies impose vaccine mandates, they are incurring a real cost. Some percentage of their workforce will quit. The cost of hiring and training employees is substantial. Then there is the cost of making sure everyone has the Nth booster shot. This is just one example, but there are thousands of these sorts of costs incurred by every business.

One way the managerial system has made this work is through socializing the costs around the world via the currency. The U.S. exports the cost through dollar production and trade. They create money which is spent on foreign goods. This exports the inflation to the foreign producer, but some of it comes back as foreign investment in government bonds and equities. American asset values go up while the quality of life goes up without causing domestic inflation.

This is one reason European consumer culture lagged behind America. The individual countries with their own currencies could not do this trick. Once the Euro was in place, consumerism in Europe took off. The consumer culture of the West, a feature of the custodial state, was made possible by shifting costs to low cost countries in the newly “free” east, South America and Asia. The spike in inflation suggests this has run its course and the West can no longer export the cost of custodialism.

The problem we see with Covid, is the custodial state comes with an ideology that justifies it and drives its development. Covid was a real problem, but the system wildly overreacted because it exists to manage these problems to an ever increasing level of detail that has now taken on a life of its own. The extreme example of this is New Zealand, where the ditzy Prime Minister has said that her Covid tyranny is now a permanent feature of life. She is the Kiwi den mother.

Another problem in addition to the direct cost is the cost of what managerialism does to the population of a society. Public services are declining rapidly as the people in those jobs no longer feel any duty to them. Like children shirking their chores, people in the custodial state stop caring about their work. The great Covid sick out we are experiencing is a glimpse of things to come. If your needs are the responsibility of the custodial state, why should you work hard and be conscientious?

One of the realities of Soviet communism was that it was more expensive to maintain than it was worth. It was a system that had a 70-year run and if you net out the years through the war, it was a two generation system, give or take. There have been kings that have served longer. The reason it was short-lived is it turned social capital into the fuel to maintain the system. Worse yet, it consumed the means of producing social capital, which accelerated the collapse of the system.

The Western system took longer to form up than communism. Its development was retarded by the necessity of the Cold War. In the thirty years since the end of communisms the custodial system has evolved quickly. Along with it the social costs have gone up and the stock of social capital has declined. In the 1980’s, no one saw the collapse of the Soviet empire coming, but the signs were there. Similarly, Western custodialism is headed to collapse for the same reason.


The crackdown by the oligarchs on dissidents has had the happy result of a proliferation of new ways to support your favorite creator. If you like my work and wish to kick in a few bucks, you can buy me a beer. You can sign up for a SubscribeStar subscription and get some extra content. You can donate via PayPal. My crypto addresses are here for those who prefer that option. You can send gold bars to: Z Media LLC P.O. Box 432 Cockeysville, MD 21030-0432. Thank you for your support!


Promotions: We have a new addition to the list. Havamal Soap Works is the maker of natural, handmade soap and bath products. If you are looking to reduce the volume of man-made chemicals in your life, all-natural personal products are a good start. If you use this link you get 15% off of your purchase.

The good folks at Alaska Chaga are offering a ten percent discount to readers of this site. You just click on the this link and they take care of the rest. About a year ago they sent me some of their stuff. Up until that point, I had never heard of chaga, but I gave a try and it is very good. It is a tea, but it has a mild flavor. It’s autumn here in Lagos, so it is my daily beverage now.

Minter & Richter Designs makes high-quality, hand-made by one guy in Boston, titanium wedding rings for men and women and they are now offering readers a fifteen percent discount on purchases if you use this link. If you are headed to Boston, they are also offering my readers 20% off their 5-star rated Airbnb.  Just email them directly to book at sales@minterandrichterdesigns.com.


The Administrative Crisis

A feature of modern society is the vast administrative state that manages every aspect of modern life. Modern people take it for granted, as they have never known any other way to live, other than being guided by massive bureaucracies. No one alive today remembers a time when there was not a bureaucrat behind every bush ready to shout instructions or warnings. A big part of what the paleocons call “managerialism” is the vast system of administration that runs society.

It is tempting to say that the Romans had a big administrative state. Diocletian expanded the empire’s civil and military administration. He established administrative centers around the empire, especially near the borders, in order to extend control from Rome to all areas of the empire. He is often referred to as the father of bureaucracy and what we think of as civil administration. People may also point to Byzantium, which expanded this concept into a complex form of rule.

There are two big differences between these older forms of government bureaucracy and what we live under today. One is the old system was not built around an ideology like we see now. Our administrative state is built around the idea that society can be managed scientifically by an army of experts. The other difference is the modern administrative state is about training the citizen to achieve his fullest potential within the liberal democratic order, to be a good liberal democrat.

Interestingly, the administrative state in modern liberal democracies looks and acts much like the bureaucracy that evolved with the Soviet system. Both were driven by ideology and both were designed to micromanage the life of the people. The fascist systems that sprung up in the interwar years showed the signs of developing an administrative state as well. Like communism and liberal democracy, fascism embraced the rational management of society.

The other not so obvious similarity between liberal democracy and communism is their respective administrative states evolved as a response to democracy. Running a country where everyone has a say can only be done if the overwhelming majority are saying the same thing. Therefore, a primary duty of the state is to train people to hold the same beliefs, to share the same common sense. The administrative state is as much about promoting ideology as administration.

Something else that is unique to the modern age is the scale and reach of the state in terms of its ability to control activity. Those old forms of imperial bureaucracy were mostly built around protecting the interests if private rulers. Vast swaths of life were left to the people to sort for themselves. In modern systems, the state protects the interest of everyone, so the activity of everyone is heavily regulated. 19th century prisons offered more freedom than the modern Western democracy.

When he was inaugurated, Ronald Reagan said, “In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem. From time to time, we’ve been tempted to believe that society has become too complex to be managed by self-rule, that government by an elite group is superior to government for, by, and of the people.” Those words were rooted in Reagan’s reading of people we now call paleo-conservatives, who were early critics of managerialism.

Fast forward to now and what is called conservatism is a celebration of the administrative state. In the Bush years, they were pushing what they called “big government conservatism” which was an explicit endorsement of scientific management of society. Their claim was that they could harness the power of the administrative state to achieve what they claimed were conservative ends. Green eyeshade conservatism had given way to administrative conservatism.

Covid has revealed that the overwhelming majority of people in modern Western democracies just accept that their fate is in the hands of the state. The proper response to Covid was to redirect resources to hospitals to treat sick people, but otherwise let nature take its course. In the administrative state, no aspect of life is left unmanaged, so an army of experts was unleashed to put nature back in her bottle. The crisis of Covid is that nature won and the administrative state failed.

The crisis of the administrative state began to form up on the horizon at the end of last year as the economy began to do weird things. Prices for consumer goods started to spike and the supply chain began to break down. It was assumed that modern monetary management had made inflation a relic of the past. An army of experts trained in our best universities managed the supply chain, so goods and services could be efficiently managed in response to economic conditions.

Even more bizarrely, the labor markets no longer make any sense, according to the rules of the economic elites. Millions of people have left the workforce despite millions of unfilled jobs. Wages have started to creep up, but that has not had any impact on the employment situation. Of course, rising wages and rising retail prices is exactly what modern economic planners said was no longer possible. As with Covid, nature seems to be resisting the efforts of our experts.

The reason that the vast administrative state has been accepted by people is it looked like it was working as promised. The various financial crisis did not result in bread lines like they did in the past. Instead, men in suits pulled levers in the Federal Reserve and Treasury to navigate around the crisis. The retail economy was brimming with new products and services, making life more comfortable. Managerialism has been accepted because it seemed to be working.

The question that has never been tested is whether the administrative state can withstand an internal crisis. Managing through a natural disaster is a very different thing than managing an irreconcilable contradiction within the system itself. This is what the administrative state is now facing. If the problem of this age is the system, there is no systemic solution. In fact, every effort by the system to address the crisis is seen as contributing to the crisis.

This is what brought down the Soviet system. All systems become sclerotic over time, as any software engineer will tell you. The social software of the Soviet empire became so burdened with patches and workarounds that it eventually crashed. The software of a society is the internal logic of it. When those rules begin to fail everyone questions the system itself. This sets of a dynamic where the system fails, a patch is made and confidence declines until eventually no one trusts the system at all.

We may be seeing something similar with liberal democracy. In order to justify itself, it looks for crises to manage, often creating them, but lurching from crisis to crisis is making it less competent at the basics. As people begin to lose trust in the software of liberal democracy, the system administrators are releasing poorly thought out updates and lecturing the users about their conduct. The result is a spiral of increasing incompetence and decreasing trust in the system.

At the heart of the current crisis is a question never asked. That is, can the administrative state survive its own failures. A bad king in a monarchy can be replaced by the next in line. The bad office holder in a republic can voted out of office in favor of someone new. What happens when vast swaths of the administrative state have become gangrenous? How is that addressed. How are the rotten bits removed and who is given the authority to remove them?


The crackdown by the oligarchs on dissidents has had the happy result of a proliferation of new ways to support your favorite creator. If you like my work and wish to kick in a few bucks, you can buy me a beer. You can sign up for a SubscribeStar subscription and get some extra content. You can donate via PayPal. My crypto addresses are here for those who prefer that option. You can send gold bars to: Z Media LLC P.O. Box 432 Cockeysville, MD 21030-0432. Thank you for your support!


Promotions: We have a new addition to the list. Havamal Soap Works is the maker of natural, handmade soap and bath products. If you are looking to reduce the volume of man-made chemicals in your life, all-natural personal products are a good start. If you use this link you get 15% off of your purchase.

The good folks at Alaska Chaga are offering a ten percent discount to readers of this site. You just click on the this link and they take care of the rest. About a year ago they sent me some of their stuff. Up until that point, I had never heard of chaga, but I gave a try and it is very good. It is a tea, but it has a mild flavor. It’s autumn here in Lagos, so it is my daily beverage now.

Minter & Richter Designs makes high-quality, hand-made by one guy in Boston, titanium wedding rings for men and women and they are now offering readers a fifteen percent discount on purchases if you use this link. If you are headed to Boston, they are also offering my readers 20% off their 5-star rated Airbnb.  Just email them directly to book at sales@minterandrichterdesigns.com.


Coup De Jour

One of the iron laws of the universe is that whatever the America Left is warning about is usually something they are plotting. Alternatively, whatever they are accusing others of doing is something they have already done. The Russian collusion stuff is the most recent example of this. They accused Trump of plotting with a foreign government, the Russians, but we learned it was official Washington all mobbed up with the Ukrainians, Chinese and anyone else with extra cash.

Of course, for the last year the ruling class has been yammering about the insurrection and the ongoing threat to “our” democracy. Meanwhile, they have been dragging people off to secret dungeons, harassing citizens for their politics, throwing people off social media and all the things we associate with a thug regime. Go back further and they spent four years claiming the 2016 election was rigged and then committed massive election fraud in the 2020 election.

This is how you can discern the future in regime rhetoric. Regime-ology, like Kremlinology in the Cold War, is becoming a skill in this age. You read the regime organs like the Washington Post or New York Times not for the literal content, but for the esoteric content, the stuff between the lines. In order to be prepared for what they will do next, we have all been forced to be Straussian. Of course, we also have the opposite rule of liberalism to guide us.

This is why the stories about a potential military coup are interesting. This one from December got the ball rolling. It is framed as a warning of a possible coup by the imaginary army of insurrectionists, but clearly the authors are imagining themselves as a triumvirate saving “our” democracy. A couple of weeks later, the Pentagon assured us that they are ready to send troops into Washington and seize control of the government if people vote the wrong way in the next election.

You do not have to be a geezer to recall a time when such talk was strictly forbidden by the mass media and political class. In fact, they went out of their way to assure themselves and the public that no one in the army would ever think of such a thing, much less suggest it. You see, America was a republic with civilian control of the military, so such a thing was impossible. It was often implied that the greatness of the military was the result of its republican virtue.

It used to be that the far-left would have been berserk with anger over the suggestion that the military would be needed to secure “our” democracy. They hated the military and saw it as the enemy of democracy. An indication of just how much the Left has changed over the last decade or so is their reaction to that column. They think it is wonderful that the military is publicly expressing their loyalty to “our” democracy and promising to crush the alleged enemies of it.

It would take a heart of stone not to laugh at these ridiculous sissies in regime media cheering for a military coup. One of the interesting features of the managerial class is their assumption that the institutions exist to serve their interests. They never think for a second that the men with guns defending “our” democracy may realize they no longer need the managerial class to run the administrative state. Meetings are for men in suits, not for men in charge holding guns.

Putting that aside, this coup talk offers some insight into what the people in charge are plotting for the near future. The upcoming midterm election is of little interest as it just means the Republicans gain some seats. The focus is on the 2024 election, which they now view as the great battle between “our” democracy and the imaginary insurrectionists, otherwise known as Trump voters. They have no intention of allowing Trump to win and take office again.

This strikes normal people as a bit strange. After all, what was plain in the Trump years is he is no threat to the regime. If he returned to office, he is not going exact revenge on those who wronged him. He will crawl on his belly for their approval. The regime, on the other hand, cannot see this. They always project their own qualities onto their enemies and in this case, they assume Trump would seek murderous revenge. After all, that is what they would do if they were him. They will not allow it.

This offers another insight into regime thinking. They assume Trump would act like they would act if in the same position. That means they assume he will have them jailed and tossed into dungeons on made up charges. They see this as a threat to “our” democracy, which then justifies any means necessary to stop it. This is how the 2020 election was fueled by widescale fraud. They told their election volunteers that any means necessary was acceptable.

Looking ahead, what this suggests is that a military coup of some sort is in the cards within the next decade. Since the generals are all super-woke, it probably means something like a hybrid civilian-military junta. The leaders of the Democratic party will lock arms with the military leadership to “defend our democracy” by overturning the elections and imposing a form of martial law. Some Republicans will be arrested as conspirators and insurrectionists.

There is another thing evident in these posts that offers some insight into what will happen in the near term. These super-woke generals are just as delusional as the super-woke regime leaders. Would the rank and file in the armed services support a scheme to “defend our democracy” from Boomers waving flags? The most likely result would be a schism in the services. Instead of being a show of strength, a coup would turn into another display of weakness and incoherence.

Another iron law of the universe is that managerial regimes become decreasingly competent over time. This was what brought down communism. The Soviet system was so corrupt it was no longer functional in the end. That is the most likely end for the regime’s coup plans. The will is there but the system has simply become too incompetent and corrupt to do it. There will be tanks in the streets, but they will be broken down and abandoned like the regime itself.


The crackdown by the oligarchs on dissidents has had the happy result of a proliferation of new ways to support your favorite creator. If you like my work and wish to kick in a few bucks, you can buy me a beer. You can sign up for a SubscribeStar subscription and get some extra content. You can donate via PayPal. My crypto addresses are here for those who prefer that option. You can send gold bars to: Z Media LLC P.O. Box 432 Cockeysville, MD 21030-0432. Thank you for your support!


Promotions: We have a new addition to the list. Havamal Soap Works is the maker of natural, handmade soap and bath products. If you are looking to reduce the volume of man-made chemicals in your life, all-natural personal products are a good start. If you use this link you get 15% off of your purchase.

The good folks at Alaska Chaga are offering a ten percent discount to readers of this site. You just click on the this link and they take care of the rest. About a year ago they sent me some of their stuff. Up until that point, I had never heard of chaga, but I gave a try and it is very good. It is a tea, but it has a mild flavor. It’s autumn here in Lagos, so it is my daily beverage now.

Minter & Richter Designs makes high-quality, hand-made by one guy in Boston, titanium wedding rings for men and women and they are now offering readers a fifteen percent discount on purchases if you use this link. If you are headed to Boston, they are also offering my readers 20% off their 5-star rated Airbnb.  Just email them directly to book at sales@minterandrichterdesigns.com.


The Bearded Weirdo

Note: The Taki post is up. This week it is about the fact that two years of Covid has revealed some unforgettable and unforgivable truths. Behind the green door, there is the first podcast of the new year.


Politics in a democratic society is always going to attract a lot of very strange people, but there is a range of acceptable strangeness. As a result, the weirdness tends to be normalized in that you just expect it. No one is surprised to learn that people in politics have the morals of carny folk, because politics is entertainment. We are not shocked by it unless the behavior falls way outside the norm. That is what makes the Jack Murphy scandal both amusing and interesting.

For those unfamiliar, Jack Murphy was a leader in the man-o-sphere scene, which is a broad term covering anti-feminism, the pick-up artists, men’s rights and the general discussion of manliness in the modern age. Murphy pitched himself as a bit from all of those buckets, but mostly the latter. He ran something called the Liminal Order and charged men $100 a month to learn how to be better men. He also had ornamental facial hair and worked for The Claremont Institute.

It also turns out that he produced gay porn and was into something called cuckoldry, which is a sexual fetish involving voyeurism and sex with strangers. If you are interested in the details of Mr. Murphy’s side hobbies, someone calling herself Megan Fox posted them at PJ Media. Of course, Jack Murphy is not really Jack Murphy, Irish he-man, but rather, he is someone named John Goldman, who is not Irish. It is hard to imagine how this story could get any more ridiculous.

Putting aside the seediness of it, this story raises a question that seems to be at the heart of most scandals. Did this guy not know how the internet works? He was selling gay porn on-line, so he had to know something about the internet. Did he really think that no one would ever look around at his internet life? It appears he made little effort to conceal any of this stuff. How is it possible he did not know he would get caught and why was he not prepared to answer for it?

You cannot write it off to hubris or ignorance. A quick search of his two names brings up this article from three years ago. He was working for the D.C. Public Charter School Board in 2018 as a finance manager. He was also posting as an alt-right character under his fake name at the time and the board found out about it. Interestingly, he was not fired from his job. In fact, the local ACLU came to his defense. Even so, he should have learned that there are no secrets on-line.

Another question that comes up in these cases is how is it possible that these guys keep getting away with these scams? Charging men $100 a month to learn how to be better men is crazy, but not uncommon. Mike Cernovich used to run self-help seminars where he would charge people to be their life-coach. Ross Jeffries in the 1980’s ran seminars where he taught the art of seduction. YouTube is full of guys peddling something like this to desperate men.

The answer to the question here is that there are a lot of men in a modern society who can find no role as men in society. Just as childless women hopped up on feminism often turn into on-line harpies, men living in a feminized society often turn into desperate suckers willing to pay anything for fraternity. Murphy/Goldman was simply exploiting this need for fraternity and male bonding. He is a con-man who finally found easily exploitable marks on the alternative right.

Far-left types and feminists find this story very amusing, as they assume it says something about the imaginary Right they think they are battling. They are correct that this is a phenomenon on the Right, but that is only because there is no place for naturally occurring males on the Left. Otherwise, there is very little that is right-wing about the man-o-sphere. The politics are decorations that are used as a lure to draw in the desperate males looking for brotherhood.

The best you can say about the man-o-sphere, with regards to politics and political inclination, is that it is uniformly anti-feminist. The gamers, the pick-up artists and even the groypers entered politics through the anti-feminism door. The ugliness of feminism has driven males away from mainstream and left-wing politics. This is why Murphy/Goldman had to transform himself from a standard issue on-line lefty into a Trump supporting right-wing anti-feminist in order to work his grift.

Behind all of this is the fact that he found an easy home among people who are supposed to be more prudent and intellectually rigorous. In 2021, the Claremont Institute made him a Lincoln Fellow. For some reason, everything involving the name Lincoln turns out to be riddled with sexual degeneracy. Putting that aside, how is it possible that they did not know he was a faker? They surely did a background check on him before inviting him to the team.

You can look at this two ways. One is they were desperate for attention, so they just invited in someone who seemed to have a big audience on-line. Charlie Kirk, who is as dumb as a hamster, was also a Lincoln Fellow. In other words, it is the old guys trying to get some street cred by inviting in those who they think are the cool kids on this internet thing they have been reading about in the papers. They never thought to look into his background to see if he was also selling gay porn.

The other answer, the most likely one, is they knew he was a fraud, but they did not care as he was willing to play ball. It was the old quid pro quo. They would grant these “internet influencers” some intellectual legitimacy in exchange for them spreading the right message to their followers. They knew he was not an Irish he-man, but that did not matter, so they did not look any further. They just wanted access to his audience, so they never bothered to ask any questions.

That is a good lesson for anyone involved in political activism. Politics attracts a lot of weirdos, because we live in a liberal democracy, which favors carny folk. That means you have to know the back story of the people you wish to trust. If it does not add up or they are lying, then you are best to avoid the person entirely. The same way one judges a new coworker or new neighbor should apply more so in politics. The old Cold War term, “trust but verify” should be the way in dissident politics.

In the end, this story is nothing but a bit of momentary amusement, but it is another good sign as we head into the next phase of dissident politics. This scandal is not on this side of the great divide, but on the normie side. Murphy/Goldman had no influence on this side as this side has become much more skeptical about these guys who are on-line political entertainers. That suggests there is a maturing in dissident politics and an awareness of the weirdo problem.


The crackdown by the oligarchs on dissidents has had the happy result of a proliferation of new ways to support your favorite creator. If you like my work and wish to kick in a few bucks, you can buy me a beer. You can sign up for a SubscribeStar subscription and get some extra content. You can donate via PayPal. My crypto addresses are here for those who prefer that option. You can send gold bars to: Z Media LLC P.O. Box 432 Cockeysville, MD 21030-0432. Thank you for your support!


Promotions: We have a new addition to the list. Havamal Soap Works is the maker of natural, handmade soap and bath products. If you are looking to reduce the volume of man-made chemicals in your life, all-natural personal products are a good start. If you use this link you get 15% off of your purchase.

The good folks at Alaska Chaga are offering a ten percent discount to readers of this site. You just click on the this link and they take care of the rest. About a year ago they sent me some of their stuff. Up until that point, I had never heard of chaga, but I gave a try and it is very good. It is a tea, but it has a mild flavor. It’s autumn here in Lagos, so it is my daily beverage now.

Minter & Richter Designs makes high-quality, hand-made by one guy in Boston, titanium wedding rings for men and women and they are now offering readers a fifteen percent discount on purchases if you use this link. If you are headed to Boston, they are also offering my readers 20% off their 5-star rated Airbnb.  Just email them directly to book at sales@minterandrichterdesigns.com.


The Runaway Train

A popular topic on this side of the great divide is how much of what we see from the ruling class is directed and how much is emergent. Put another way, how much of it is the result of conscious coordination from some central source and how much is just the mentality of the swarm. Those who like conspiracy theories and simple answers prefer the coordination model, while those with experience in complex human systems prefer the emergent behavior approach.

Of course, both can be true. Elites in the anglosphere have been enamored by what is called nudge theory for a while now. the 2008 book Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness was a big hit with the managerial class, as it suggested a feminine way to compel social behavior. Instead of ordering people around, elites would use their power over the institutions to “nudge” people in the preferred direction with positive incentives, rather than force.

As is so often the case, Nudge Theory is really an old idea tarted up with managerial class jargon that comes from the graduate schools. The tax code in America has been used this way long before the nudge idea. The mortgage interest deduction is a nudge toward home ownership, rather than renting. Business gets tax breaks for capital purchases when the economy is flagging. The government food pyramid is a way to nudge people toward one form of consumption over another.

The food pyramid is a good example of how conspiracy and emergent behavior work together in a mass society. The people behind the food pyramid are the giant agricultural concerns that control the food supply. A high carbohydrate diet is more profitable than a healthy diet, so they bribe government officials and academic researchers to promote the high carb diet. At the same time, people actually believe in the “low fat” diets now so no nudging is required.

We are seeing this with the Covid drama. The inner party has finally realized they have a serious problem on their hands with Covid theater. People have figured out that they can get two weeks out of work by claiming to have Covid, so the great winter sick-out is starting to harm the economy. Of course, the contradictions and lies about Covid are undermining their ability to tell future lies. Biden’s last speech on Covid came with a message to the media to cool it on Covid.

The White House is pushing a message to the media, which they expect the media to blast through their megaphones. You are starting to see planted stories about how Omicron is harmless and a good sign. On the other hand, the hive mind of the media has been tuned to spread fear about Covid. The front page of party organs like the New York Times are organized around Covid theater. The result is a weird whipsaw effect where the message swings wildly back and forth.

Covid theater is useful in exploring the hive mind aspects of this age. All of a sudden, tens of millions of normal people are made aware of the fact that many of their associates are not just liberal, but possibly insane. The people wearing ceremonial face gear are exempting themselves from the normal tribe and declaring their allegiance to the crazy tribe. One sort of emergent behavior, triggered by the Covid conspirators, is causing new emergent behavior among the healthy.

Those big tanker trucks you see on the road are a good model to think about when considering this stuff. Inside those tanks is either compartments or what would look like a baffles if you peeled back the skin. The point of the internal structures is to give the tank rigidity but also prevent the fluid inside from sloshing around. A ton of water sloshing forward when braking would create a tremendous amount of force. The tankers are designed to keep the contents stable in transport.

That is a good way to think of society. The hive mind, the emergent behavior is like the fluid inside one of those tankers. When the ruling class jams on the brakes or takes a sudden turn, general opinion can swing wildling in one direction. The initial Covid panic is a good example. The baffling is supposed to be local institutions, community and the traditions of society. They are supposed to put a brake on the wild swings of opinion caused by the sudden lurching of the ruling class.

This is the proper image for modern America. It is a tanker truck racing down the road half full of fluid. During the Trump years it swung from one side of the road to the other, in part due to the driver and due to the sloshing about inside the tank. The Biden turn at the wheel was supposed to stabilize things, but every reaction on their part to stabilize things has caused a new action inside the tank. Trump enjoyed the ride, while Biden is hanging on like prisoner to the machine he is driving.

The point is, much of what looks like conspiracy is just wild reactions to events that the elites set off by a legitimate effort to nudge society in a preferred direction. Just as war plans do not survive contact with the enemy, elite conspiracies do not hold up very long after contact with mass society. Covid is revealing just how little control our ruling elites have over their creations. They unleashed a panic that has become a bizarre subculture they no longer can control.

This does not settle the question at the start, but it does suggest the question is not all that important. Unless you are inclined to believe that the people “really in charge” are super-geniuses able to play four-dimensional chess, yet not realize you are onto them, it is hard to see the hand of design in the current madness. On the other hand, emergent behavior does not explain the players who are fortuitously positioned to profit from the madness unleashed by our rulers.

Perhaps the way to think about is as a process that evolves and two of the forces driving the evolution are conspiracy and emergent behavior. The former is locked in on short term gain without considering the long term consequences. The later forces are just the normal social forces weaponized by the collapse of that internal baffling that comes from strong local community and traditions. The empire is a runaway train and all of us, the engineers included, are just along for the ride.


The crackdown by the oligarchs on dissidents has had the happy result of a proliferation of new ways to support your favorite creator. If you like my work and wish to kick in a few bucks, you can buy me a beer. You can sign up for a SubscribeStar subscription and get some extra content. You can donate via PayPal. My crypto addresses are here for those who prefer that option. You can send gold bars to: Z Media LLC P.O. Box 432 Cockeysville, MD 21030-0432. Thank you for your support!


Promotions: We have a new addition to the list. Havamal Soap Works is the maker of natural, handmade soap and bath products. If you are looking to reduce the volume of man-made chemicals in your life, all-natural personal products are a good start. If you use this link you get 15% off of your purchase.

The good folks at Alaska Chaga are offering a ten percent discount to readers of this site. You just click on the this link and they take care of the rest. About a year ago they sent me some of their stuff. Up until that point, I had never heard of chaga, but I gave a try and it is very good. It is a tea, but it has a mild flavor. It’s autumn here in Lagos, so it is my daily beverage now.

Minter & Richter Designs makes high-quality, hand-made by one guy in Boston, titanium wedding rings for men and women and they are now offering readers a fifteen percent discount on purchases if you use this link. If you are headed to Boston, they are also offering my readers 20% off their 5-star rated Airbnb.  Just email them directly to book at sales@minterandrichterdesigns.com.


The Managerial Borg

Note: The Taki post is up. I find the whole anti-Nazi thing interesting as it seems to be a subculture now, rather than just ham-fisted sloganeering. It is becoming an anti-religion in which the believers are defined by their opposition to the imaginary. For something lighter, I have some posts behind the green door about pop culture. Over Christmas I watched The French Connection, Star Trek: Diversity and The Expanse.


Most people on this side of the great divide have little interest in sports entertainment, as it is seen as part of the head game the system plays on people. Instead of investing in things that are important to their community and family, men invest their energy in rooting for the local corporate sports team. For most on this side of the divide, there is something unseemly about seeing a man wearing a sports team jersey in public or putting his favorite sports team in his social media profile.

That is, however, what makes sports entertainment a useful window into the psychology of the managerial state. Sports entertainment is a microcosm of what is happening in more subtle ways across the culture. College sports are particularly useful as that is where the ideology of this age slams into reality. On the one hand, players are supposed to be “scholar-athletes” and on the other hand college sports is a great celebration of diversity. None of it, of course, makes sense.

An example is this announcement from the Atlantic Coast Conference about a corporate program called “the coach’s academy” that is “an eight-week virtual and immersive development program that equips coaches with information, tools, and skills of a humanistic approach to better support the needs of the student-athlete.” Anyone who has worked in corporate America recognizes the creepy bureaucratic language that defines modern managerialism.

The hallmark of the modern managerial class is the creepy, dehumanized language they inflict on us. How does one “equip a coach with information, tools, and skills of a humanistic approach”? A normal way of saying this is “train coaches to be more empathetic to their players” but that is too direct and it lacks the signaling that is so important in the managerial class. The word salad says that the writer has been to graduate school and has the appropriate credentials.

The proof of that is the third paragraph. ” ‘The response to the ACC Coaches’ Academy has been terrific,’ said ACC Commissioner Jim Phillips, Ph.D.” A normal person would wonder why that academic credential is listed, but inside the world of the managerial class, credentials are everything. This is why they are so cheap. Phillips earned a Ph.D. in education administration from the University of Tennessee, a master’s degree in education from Arizona State University.

Another thing you see in managerial language is the appropriation of terms and concepts from business and science. These are fields in which there is a right answer and accomplishment can be objectively measured. College presidents now call themselves CEO’s, for example. In this announcement they use the term “cohort” rather than group, suggesting things about the first group of coaches forced into this seminar that are certainly not true, but the word “cohort” sounds cool.

Later on, we learn that the coaches learn “emotional intelligence competencies to enhance trust and connection.” A normal person would wonder what exactly is an “emotional intelligence competency” and the long answer is nothing. There is no such thing as emotional intelligence. It is another racket where “experts” on “emotional intelligence” sell their services to corporate trainers. The idea is to train staff to control their emotions like a sociopath.

Also note the word competency. This is a very popular word in the managerial class, because it implies that all knowledge is acquirable. You just have to sit quietly in the class, repeat what you heard and get the credentials. Now you have that competency, which you can put in your trophy case. This is a product of the blank slate, which assumes anyone can learn anything. The strivers festooned with credentials are not naturally better. They just want it more.

Perhaps the most amusing bit of language in this press release is the phrase “transformational leadership approach.” This is another example of how the managerial class loves neologism, especially those that borrow words and phrases from the productive sector of society. They also love the idea that natural ability, like leadership, can be acquired, like a new car or a new couch. They also need to feel like they are leaders, even if they sit in a cubicle all day.

Like emotional intelligence, transformational leadership is popular in the corporate space, mostly because it is a good way to avoid reality. That reality is there are people good at the things needed in a corporation and there is a finite number of them, which means there is never enough of these people. Consultants make a nice living telling senior managers that there is a way to spin the straw they can afford into the gold that will make the company successful.

This line is typical. “Through personal reflection, peer discussion and interactive activities such as role play and case studies, coaches developed an action plan for practical implementation of new strategies within their teams and integrated program concepts to evolve their coaching philosophy.” The action plan is the proof that the employee attended the seminar. Usually, they end up in the trash or maybe in a drawer with the other nonsense credentials.

Since the dawn of the industrial revolution, people have complained about the dehumanizing aspects of large corporate entities. Marxism was driven in large part by the dehumanizing aspects of large scale manufacturing. Writers and comedians have mocked corporate culture. The corporation is a creepy form of fascism in that the people in charge imagine themselves to be something other than autocrats and they demand their employees play along with the charade.

The social phenomenon of managerialism is the application of corporate self-delusion to society as a whole. The administrative state embraces the same bizarre language and internal activities as the modern corporation. Popular culture spreads the language and concepts, normalizing this stuff in areas like sports, of all places. Managerialism seeks to turn society into an integrated corporate entity. The only thing missing from that press release is the phrase “resistance is futile.”


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